Sunday, July 19, 2009

Future of Newspapers: Profitless? Go Wireless; Wired's Duel Perspectives Blog, 7/14/09

Douglas Wolk via Wired's Duel Perspectives Blog; Future of Newspapers: Profitless? Go Wireless:

"The Wall Street Journal's publisher Les Hinton has called Google a "digital vampire," but even his paper, one of the last holdouts of subscription-based online content, has made its articles' full text accessible via Google searches. Using free content as bait for paying customers doesn't work for newspapers. And the revenue from internet advertising is less a stream than a dribble — nowhere near enough to support a robust paper (or paperless paper) on its own.

Still, there's a crucial distinction that might yet save news organizations. Users are pretty clearly uninterested in paying for content on the open internet, but what they are, in practice, willing to pay for is mobile content...

One possible future of news as a commodity is hyperlocal information — the sort of thing that's already becoming popularized by services like Yelp, whose incarnation as an iPhone app offers directions to nearby restaurants and services, complete with with user reviews."

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